Defining The Neighborhood Through Mapping

In an effort to get a more precise look at the city and its distinct neighborhoods, the <em>Los Angeles Times</em> is starting a collaborative mapping project to set clear and adaptable boundaries for L.A.'s neighborhoods.
February 22, 2009, 7am PST | Nate Berg
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"Los Angeles is a city that remakes itself constantly, so drawing boundaries for communities can be perilous. City officials are happy to designate community names, but have never been willing to set borders. But we at The Times are preparing to do just that."

"The initial cut of Mapping L.A.'s neighborhoods was based on census tracts. These areas, drawn by the U.S. Census Bureau for tabulating demographic information, allow us to compile statistical profiles of L.A. communities. Unfortunately, they are frequently out of sync with the geographical, historic and socioeconomic associations that define communities."

"Consequently, we've adjusted the lines in many cases. We've done so by moving individual city blocks from one census tract to another. In each instance, we've adjusted the census data in proportion to the population of each block."

"Because L.A. is always changing, Mapping L.A. will change with it. As communities gain in size or importance, or diminish, we'll reflect those changes in these maps. But, in contrast to the past, the boundaries we recognize today will not be lost. Every time we move a city block from one community to another, we'll keep a record of the original map that can be republished any time it's needed. We'll also keep a log of changes on the site for use by anyone seeking to trace the city's evolution. "

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Published on Friday, February 20, 2009 in Los Angeles Times
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